Anybody have any experience kicking a football high, far and straight and want to make some money doing it?
The Jets sure appear to be unsettled at the position after 23-year-old rookie Alex Kessman’s NFL regular-season debut didn’t exactly go well in their 33-18 loss to the Eagles Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Kessman lined up for his first attempt as a pro, a PAT just 2:18 in.
Kessman lined up for his second attempt, a PAT with 3:18 remaining in the first quarter.
So what went wrong?
"I don’t know," Kessman said. "I’ve just got to make them. This is what I do for a living. I’ve got to make those kicks. There’s no excuses."
How about nerves?
"It’s just a combination of excitement and a little bit of nervousness, but nothing that I haven’t felt before," Kessman said. "I’m doing the same thing I’ve always done. I’ve got to make the kicks."
Kessman was signed off the practice squad Saturday and Matt Ammendola was waived. Kessman beat out the struggling Ammendola in a "kick-off" for the job during the practices this past week after Ammendola missed a 42-yarder at Houston and five field goals over the previous six games overall.
Ammendola was just 2-for-8 from 40 yards and beyond and 13-for-19 overall in his first regular season of NFL kicking.
"We have someone else in the building," coach Robert Saleh said, probably referring to Ammendola, who’s still on waivers until 4 p.m. Monday. He likely won’t be claimed, so there’s the option to re-sign him to at least the practice squad if they want.
They need to find a solution.
"We’ll keep going until something works," Saleh said.
The Jets signed Kessman to the practice squad on Nov. 23 after Ammendola missed two field goals against Miami.
So who is Alex Kessman?
The Chargers originally signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh in May, but released him in August. Kessman made 71.9% of his field goals and 97.1% of his PATs in college.
After he missed the two extra points against Philadelphia, the Jets couldn’t afford to trust him to try after the next touchdown and went for two. That failed. He didn’t attempt any field goals.
The Jets used to have two reliable kickers and didn’t retain either. They cut Nick Folk after the 2016 season and didn’t re-sign Jason Myers after his Pro Bowl season of 2018. They have ended up cycling through several kickers because of those decisions.
"I don’t feel bad for him," Zach Wilson said. "He’s a professional. He’s going to get right back and he’s going to do his thing."
Kessman seemed unfazed.
"I’ll go into work Monday and do my job," he said. "I’ll move forward and continue to grow and learn from this. I’m not going to let two kicks define me in the kicker I am and the person I am."